Neuroblastoma refers to a solid form of a cancerous tumor, which starts within the nerve cells outside of the young children’s and infants’ brains. It even starts within the nerve tissue present near the spine within the chest, neck, pelvis or abdomen, while it often starts within the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands remain present at the top of human kidneys and they make hormones to control various functions of the body, including the blood pressure and heart rate.
Neuroblasts are immature nerve cells found mainly in unborn babies. Regular neuroblasts mature into adrenal medulla or nerve cells, i.e. the cells found in the middle area of the adrenal glands. Neuroblastoma often formed whenever neuroblasts fail to mature properly. On the other side, if neuroblasts do not mature and grow consistently, they form a mass i.e. tumor. (1)
How Do You Stop Neuroblastoma From Spreading?
If you want to stop or prevent the problem of neuroblastoma to spread further in different body parts of your little one, you have to consult with your doctor immediately and undergo with a particular or combination of the following treatment options available-
Observation: If your baby is suffering from localized neuroblastoma with a small tumor, doctors simply observe the affected infants closely based on different physical examinations, imaging techniques, and simple lab tests. With time, most of these tumors go away automatically, while in some cases, infants require further treatment with surgery and/or chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy treatment options.
Surgery Treatment: Surgery refers to removal to the affected tumor and surrounding healthy tissues by performing a surgical operation. Surgery is recommendable when cancer does not spread to other parts and it sometimes removes the complete tumor.
Chemotherapy Treatment: With the aim to prevent the spread of neuroblastoma to other body parts, doctors in some cases recommend chemotherapy treatment. Even chemotherapy may act as a primary treatment to cure neuroblastoma or doctors may apply it before surgery for shrinking the tumor or after surgery for destroying any of the remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy is the application of drugs for destroying cancer cells often by ending the ability of cancer cells to grow, spread and divide further.
Radiation Therapy: The radiation therapy regimen or schedule contains specific numbers of treatments or therapies given during a specific period. Radiation therapy involves the usage of high-energy particles, especially X-ray for destroying the cancer cells. In most of the cases, doctors opt for the external-beam type of radiation therapy, in which doctors give radiation by using a machine outside the patient’s body.
Bone Marrow Transplantation: Bone marrow transplantation or stem cell transplantation has now become one of the preferable treatment options to deal with neuroblastoma cancer and in turn, to prevent its spread to remaining body parts. As the name highlights, bone marrow or stem cell transplant procedure involves the replacement of diseased bone marrow with specialized hematopoietic stem cells found in the human bloodstream. The main objective behind bone marrow transplantation is destroying cancer cells present in the blood, bone marrow, and other body parts while allowing the replaced blood stem cells to form healthy bone marrows. In most of the transplantations, patients undergo radiation or chemotherapy treatments with high doses for destroying most of the cancer cells.
Retinoid Therapy: According to retinoid therapy, doctors recommend for special substances called retinoids, which are similar to Vitamin A. These substances help few of the cells to become mature into regular or normal cells.
Immunotherapy: The main objective behind immunotherapy is to boost the natural defense of the patient’s body to fight with neuroblastoma cancer. Immunotherapy thus uses compounds made from the body of a person itself or in a lab for targeting, bolstering and the restoration of various functions performed by the immune system. (1)
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